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Monday, January 19, 2015

EXCLUSIVE Q&A with SALLY KELLERMAN

Sally Kellerman is an entertainment legend who needs little introduction, having been in show business now for decades. At 18, she signed a recording contract with the Verve label, though her first album, Roll with the Feelin', was not recorded till '72.  Her album, Sally, was released in 2009.

Ms Kellerman is a combination of beauty, brains and talent, so her success on-screen, stage and vocally (as singer and voice-over artist) should come as no surprise. Her most iconic role was that of "Hot Lips" Houlihan in the film MASH. She's been on several motion picture soundtrack recordings, has done voices for animated features, voiced over many tv commercials (Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, Revlon), has done numerous classic tv episodes and has written a memoir, Read My Lips.

Sally Kellerman appears at 54 Below in Manhattan, NYC, on Friday, January 23rd at 9:30 pm. I will be there. She will also be at The Razz Room, New Hope, PA on Saturday the 24th.

One thing you don't do is to keep a Hollywood icon waiting but, unfortunately, I couldn't find Ms K's phone number. I was in a panic! When I called an hour late, the star was incredibly gracious -- and forgiving. Special thanks and gratitude to Alan Eichler for setting up this interview opportunity. 

Ladies and gentlemen, Buddy Beaverhausen Talks with Sally Kellerman!   

Buddy Beaverhausen: Hello, Ms Kellerman, so sorry I'm so late but I couldn't find your number....
Sally Kellerman: I understand. I have to pack for New York after this.....
BB: I'll be there at 54.
SK: Oh, wonderful! This is for your blog?
BB: Yes, I get over 13,000 views monthly, internationally.
SK: That's terrific! By the way, what's the weather like in New York?
BB: Today's rainy and icy, but it'll be fairer when you arrive. Were you ever at Studio 54 in its day?
SK: I went once. I'm an L.A. girl.
BB: Now, some actresses make their star debut coming down long staircases. You made yours stepping from a helicopter. What was that like?
SK: MASH, yes! It was terrific getting to meet and work with Bob Altman, with whom I later made a number of films. I think my favorite role was that in Brewster McCloud. Have you seen it?
BB: Yes. It was a favorite film of mine in college.
SK: We worked so well together and I was devastated when he passed away. He really worked beautifully with actors, giving us respect and freedom in how we created our roles.
BB: What was it like for you, filming the sequence in MASH, when the guys collapse the shower frame and you're "on stage." I remember, on its release, it was quite a sensation because of your dramatic nude scene.
SK: Oh my God! That was quite a take because the feeling of rage was so real, raw! But Bob Altman handled it all very delicately at the set and afterwards. I always had full faith in him as my director.
BB: I see your show is directed by Bob Esty, whom I've interviewed....
SK: You know Bob?
BB: Only through our interviews and on Facebook. We did meet in New York this past summer....
SK: Right. Pia Zadora! Well, Bob is just an angel. One of the sweetest people I've ever met and we got to be close friends. I adored working with him on my act and I love listening to his classics with Streisand, Cher and Donna Summer....
BB: You've been singing professionally a long time. You had your cabaret debut at Reno Sweeney's (NYC) in the '70s. What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
SK: I always wanted to be a singer but my acting career eclipsed it. In my parents' home, growing up, I listened to the radio and heard all the popular voices of the time. Jo Stafford, Patti Paige, Rosemary Clooney, and I wanted to be like them.
BB: You made your big-screen debut in a film called Reform Girl, which I've never seen but would love to! Were you a good girl or a bad girl in it?
SK: I don't know what I was. [chuckles] I have only the foggiest memory of that.
BB: Lost Horizon! What was that set like.
SK: Oh, it was wonderful. Did you like it?
BB: Errrr.... Not really.
SK: I had the greatest time making that with Liv Ullman and that cast. The Hal David lyrics! Try watching it again. It's underrated, misunderstood.....
BB: What was your favorite of all the films you've made?
SK: And still make. I have some new releases in 2015. But Slither! Slither was a joy and I loved working with James Caan!
BB: You came to the public's attention in a big way as the surviving victim in The Boston Strangler. What was it like working with Tony Curtis in such an intense scene?
SK: Fabulous. Tony was such a gentleman, even though his character beat the crap out of me. He was gracious and I felt comfortable with him.
BB: You did a lot of tv work....
SK: Oh, yes....
BB: Mannix.
SK: Loved working with Mike [Connors].
BB: Did you get to yell, "Mannix, look out!"?
SK: [Laughs] I don't think I did. I was in the very first episode of Star Trek.
BB: You did a lot of sci-fi. The Invaders, Outer Limits.
SK: Joseph Stefano saw me in a play in L.A. He saw it twice and met me and said "I want you to be on my show." So we shot my Outer Limits episode. I played opposite Martin Landau, whom I adored! It was wonderful and Stefano, by the way, wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock's Psycho.
BB: Any shout-out to your LGBT fans?
SK: Yes! Keep on doing what you're doing! Equal rights for all. I fully support you and thank you for supporting me. Lots and lots of love!
BB: Thank you, Ms Kellerman.
SK: Thank you, now on to packing. See you in New York!

11 comments:

  1. Wonderful! Wish I could see the show! Have fun!

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  2. Let's all watch Lost Horizon and discover it a new

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  3. WOW! I've loved Sally Kellerman forever; she's ALL WOMAN! What an honor it must've been to Interview her, and what a great job you did of doing it, Charles....keep-up your great work, and God bless you always!
    Ronnie Giles ( http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2524516/ )

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  4. Very lighthearted and fun, and nice genuine responses from both of you. Terrific! So proud of you.

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  5. What a great interview. Thanks Charles!

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  6. Buddy, your columns are such fun. Thanks for giving us this time with Sally. - James Gavin

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  7. I was lucky enough to hang and become friends with Sally in LA. She is the coolest and very funny in real life. I adore her.

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  8. That was wonderful! Enjoy the show.

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  9. Your interviews and blogs are a joy to read Buddy..! You are full of style, grace, respect and humor! Hugs! xx

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